Developing recipes is full of almosts. You get an idea in your head, and you give it a try, and it almost works. Maybe not quite what you were imagining, but close. Or, sometimes not even all that close. You try again, and again, and with a little luck and patience and effort, you can get there.
When I was writing Doughnuts and developing my baked cake doughnut recipe, there was one little thing that I never quite got. The baked doughnuts bake up in a doughnut pan, that is doughnut shaped. No holes. Now, if you were a kid growing up with Dunkin Donuts Munchkins, you know that the holes are the very best part. I tried mini muffin pans. They were almost right. The taste was fine, but they weren't round.
Last week, while looking for popsicle molds*, I stumbled across these little silicone half spheres. Genius! The perfect baked doughnut hole pan! The tops would puff up to a nice round, and the bottoms would be round too. I one-clicked away.
Today, I gave my brilliant find a shot, with strawberry baked doughnut batter. And they worked. Almost. See, the thing about cake doughnuts is you want them to be just the right amount of dense. Too light and fluffy, and you just have a cupcake. So, they puffed, but not to the perfect sphere I had imagines. No, really, they didn't puff up much at all. I got lovely little half spheres. Perhaps a little tweak to the recipe will get a better puff, but they were really delicious as they were. Just not quite the right shape, once again.
But then I had another thought. I have a tray full of perfect little 1/2 spheres. Why not fill them and make them a whole! So, a little strawberry "kreme" later, and a little fun with sticks (because everything is more fun On a Stick! Cheers for Matt and his beautiful book!), and I have almost baked doughnut holes once again.
To make the strawberry baked doughnuts, just follow the standard baked doughnut recipe but toss in chopped strawberries into the flour/butter mixture before you add the wet ingredients. Use about 1 strawberry for every 3 doughnut holes.
Strawberry Doughnut Kreme
There is no cream in Kreme... leave out the strawberry and you have a pretty good approximation of Oreo "stuff" with this recipe...
You can make your own Strawberry syrup (strawberries, sugar, heat, time), but I used Schuh Farm's Strawberry Syrup which is mighty fine.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter or softened coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 5 teaspoons Strawberry syrup, to desired thickness
Mix the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle in the strawberry syrup, a little at a time, until you get the flavor/consistency and color you want.
*If anyone knows where to find aluminum kulfi molds online, let me know! They are perfect for an upcoming shoot, but I haven't been able to find any online anywhere that would ship to the US.